Sizzle-Surprise: Your Eyes Can Get Sunburned

A person can apply sunblock from head to toe, yet he or she will still be missing one very exposed area—the eyes.

The eye burns are similar to sunburn. The damage usually comes from prolonged or intense exposure to the suns UV rays, which are often intensified after sunlight reflects off of sand, snow or pavement. At first, eye damage caused by UV rays result in pain or temporary blindness and blurred vision. Although the eyes heal in a few days, the damage increases risk of complications later in life (i.e. cataracts, blindness).

But similar to how you can protect your skin, there are some ways to prevent harm to your eyes:

  • Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat when outdoors.
  • Buy sunglasses that state that the lenses block 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. And remember:
    • Just because your shades cost $100 doesn’t mean they’re protecting you. Look for that UV protection label.
    • Dark shades don’t necessarily protect your eyes more so be sure the tag indicates UV protection of at least 99%.
  • If you're on the water or in snow, wear goggles or sunglasses that wrap around your head to protect the sides of your eyes as well.